Before he was even a candidate, Donald Trump had dinner with Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov, his pop-star son Emin and Emin’s publicist Rob Goldstone. The meeting, which took place in Las Vegas in 2013, was videotaped and someone has now given that video to CNN:
The video, obtained by CNN in the wake of the email disclosures, offers fresh insights into the warm relationship between Trump and the Agalarovs, which has been widely reported because Aras Agalarov and Emin Agalarov inked a multi-million dollar deal with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.
The video was shot on June 15, 2013 in Las Vegas on the eve of the Miss USA pageant where Trump would officially announce the deal to bring the Miss Universe contest to Moscow. The footage, a series of clips from the eve of the Miss USA pageant, documents more than three minutes of interactions between Trump, the Agalarovs and Goldstone.
Donald Trump Jr. does not appear in the video obtained by CNN, but several other top Trump associates do — including Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and his long-time aide and current director of Oval Office operations, Keith Schiller, who are both in the video.
It was already widely known that Trump was friendly with the family and appeared in one of Emin Agalarov’s music videos. Nothing said in the new video seems to be particularly significant. But the fact that Emin and Goldstone are present with Trump and that both men were later involved in setting up a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney is being taken by CNN as suggestive.
What the video does show is that Trump was glad-handing with the family that later indicated an interest in seeing him win the White House. Other than that, this seems like a sidebar story that is only of interest because of the Trump Jr. story. As you’ll see at the end of this CNN report, Agalarov’s attorney isn’t denying his client was friendly with Trump. “If there was something important that Mr. Alagarov wanted to communicate to the Trump campaign, I suspect he could have called Mr. Trump directly as opposed to having his son’s pop music publicist be the intermediary,” he says.